|Publication number||US5178327 A|
|Application number||US 07/739,401|
|Publication date||Jan 12, 1993|
|Filing date||Aug 2, 1991|
|Priority date||Aug 2, 1991|
|Publication number||07739401, 739401, US 5178327 A, US 5178327A, US-A-5178327, US5178327 A, US5178327A|
|Inventors||Shashi Palamand, S. Rao Palamand|
|Original Assignee||Summit Products, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (10), Referenced by (73), Classifications (10), Legal Events (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This invention relates to air fresheners, and in particular, to an air freshener carrying a plurality of scents, any one of which may be selected by a single action such as rotating or dialing.
Many people place air fresheners in a room to cover up odors in the room or just to add a fragrant scent to the air. Many air fresheners are commercially available. However, most of these provide for only one scent. Sometimes people want to change the scent introduced into a room. With commercially available air fresheners, the only way to do this is to purchase another air freshener having a different scent.
A few air fresheners which allow a user to selectively alter the scent delivered by the freshener have been described. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,711,023 to Smith discloses an air freshener having a plurality of shells which may be selectively opened and closed and which are positioned in front of a fan. Each shell carries numerous cells which contain fragrant compounds. Each shell has a different scent. The fan blows air through the cells of each shell causing the fragrant compound to evaporate and to be carried into the room. By opening and closing the various shells to varying degrees, the scent delivered by the air freshener can be altered.
U.S. Pat. No. 3,410,488 to Sugimura discloses an air freshener having a plurality of atomizing units. Each unit has a container of perfume which, when activated by an electrical signal, sprays its perfume through an atomizer and onto a strip of porous material. Each strip moves in front of its own fan which evaporates the perfume and carries it into the room. By changing the frequency of when the various perfume containers are activated, the scent created by the air freshener may be altered.
U.S. Pat. No. 2,608,436 to Baughman discloses a vaporizer having a plurality of vials of scented liquid positioned behind a fan. The vials can be selectively opened and a wick, which reaches into the liquid, can be extended to draw the liquid into the air flow. By selectively opening the vials, the scent which is delivered can be altered.
Lastly, U.S. Pat. No. 2,103,609 to Bradburn discloses an air freshener having a body which carries a plurality of open topped vials of scented substances. A cover is rotatably mounted on the body to seal and close the vials. The cover has an opening which can be selectively brought into alignment with any one of the vials to open the vial, to allow the substance within the vial to evaporate and freshen the air.
All but the last mentioned patent are electrically operated and thus require a source of electricity. All have the disadvantage of being complicated and bulky. They are not easily moved nor can they be easily placed in a room out of view.
One object of this invention is to provide an air freshener which will permit a user to select a desired fragrance.
Another object is to provide such an air freshener wherein the fragrant substance may be replaced when used up.
Another object is to provide such an air freshener which may be mounted over a vent or the like.
Another object is to provide such an air freshener which is small so that it can be placed in small rooms or in cars.
Another object is to provide such an air freshener which is also economical to produce and easy to use.
Other objects will become obvious to those skilled in the art in light of the following disclosure and accompanying drawings.
In accordance with the invention generally stated, an air freshener is provided. The air freshener includes a container preferably including an openable top, a front wall, a back wall, side walls, and a bottom. A cartridge is rotatably and removably mounted in the container. The cartridge has a hub, an outer wall, and vanes extending between the hub and the outer wall to define sections. At least the front wall and preferably both the front and back walls of the container each have an aperture shaped and dimensioned to be the same size as each section. The cartridge is removably mounted on an axle which extends through the container and has an exposed knob attached to one end. The axle can be rotated to selectively bring one of the sections into alignment with the apertures. The sections each contain a scented substance. Each section carries a differently scented substance. The sections are sealed within the container and preferably against the front and back walls to prevent the scents from the different substances from mixing together.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an air freshener constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a container of the air freshener with the top of the container partially opened;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the air freshener container, partly broken away, with its top open and a cartridge containing fragrant substances being inserted therein;
FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of the air freshener with a front panel removed therefrom showing the cartridge placed therein;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the air freshener showing a back side thereof;
FIG. 6 is a front elevational view of the cartridge;
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the cartridge; and
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of an axle on which the cartridge is mounted.
Referring to the drawings, an air freshener 1 of the present invention includes a container 3 preferably having a front wall 5, a back wall 7, side walls 9, a top 11, and a bottom 13. As seen in FIG. 2, top 11 is hingedly connected to one of the side walls 9 and may be selectively opened and closed. Top 11 has a downwardly extending lip 14 at its free end. Lip 14 engages and covers the outside of one of the sidewalls 9 to hold top 11 closed. Front and back walls 5 and 7 each have an aperture 15 which are axially aligned with each other. An axle 17 having a knurled knob 19 is journaled through the front and back walls below apertures 15, 15. Front wall 5 has an opening 20 through which the axle 17 extends. Back wall 7 may have a sleeve (not shown), mounted to its inner surface opposite to and in axial alignment with hole 20, which rotatably receives axle 17 to support axle 17 within container 3. Front wall 5 may have a journal box 21 thereon through which the axle extends. Knob 19 is positioned outside of wall 5 so that it may be used to rotate axle 17.
A cartridge 31 is removably received in container 3. cartridge 31 includes a hub 33 and an outer circular wall 37. Hub 33 is not continuous and has a gap 35 therein. Wall 37, like hub 33, is not continuous and has a beginning 39 and an end 40 defining a gap 42 which allows access to hub gap 35. A plurality of vanes 41 extend between hub 33 and outer wall 37 to separate the cartridge into a plurality of sections 43. In FIGS. 3, 4 and 6, cartridge 31 is shown as having four segments. In FIG. 7, cartridge 31' has several more sections 43'. Sections 43 and 43' are filled with a porous material 45 which is impregnated with a volatile fragrant substance. In FIGS. 3 and 6, all but one of the sections are filled with porous material 45, leaving a blank section 46 which is defined by two vanes which intersect the beginning 39 and end 40 of outer wall 37. The blank section 46 corresponds to the gap 42 in outer wall 37. The various sections 43 are filled with differently scented substances. Material 45 fully fills each section 43 and may be frictionally held or adhesively secured therein. Alternatively, the inside of outer wall 31 may have projections or other means which extend into the material 45 to hold it in place.
Hub gap 35 is just wide enough so that cartridge 31 may be removably snapped onto axle 17. Thus, when the scented substances in the cartridge 31 evaporate, a new cartridge 31 can be placed in its stead. Hub 33 has a diameter sized so that cartridge 31 will be rotatably fixed to axle 17 for rotation therewith when rotated by knob 19. The front and back apertures 15, 15 in walls 5 and 7 are of the same shape and dimension as sections 43 and are positioned so that one section 43 may be brought into alignment with the apertures 15, 15. Thus the scented substance in a selected section 43 can be exposed so that it will evaporate to freshen a room's air. Section 46 can also be brought into alignment with apertures 15 so that no air freshening occurs. Section 46 is also preferably of the same size as sections 43.
Vanes 41 have gaskets or the like on opposite sides so that sections 43 are sealed against the inside of walls 5 and 7 to keep the fragrance of the various sections from mixing together. If desired, two sections 43, 43 can be exposed through apertures 15, 15 so that the fragrance of the sections mix as the fragrant substance evaporates.
In FIG. 7, alternate sections 43' of cartridge 31' may be left empty. This enables the amount of the scented substance that enters the air to be varied, by varying the amount of the section that is exposed. Of course, the cartridge 31' can also alternatively be filled with a greater variety of scented substances to give the user more choices. It will be apparent that when cartridge 31' is used, apertures 15, 15 must be made smaller than when the apertures 15, 15 which are used with cartridge 31.
The back 7 of container 3 may have a tape strip 51 or the like extending around the outer edge of back wall 7 so that the container 3 may be secured around a vent opening. This allows the fragrance in the selected section 43 to be forced into a room, rather than by convection alone. A small fan, operable by a battery or line electricity, may be mounted on the back of the device to push air therethrough, if desirable. Tape 51 need not be used to secure container 3 to a vent. For example, hook and pile fasteners such as Velcro may be used.
Numerous variations, within the scope of the appended claims, will be apparent to those skilled in the art in light of the foregoing description and accompanying drawings. Although the cartridge is shown to be round, it may be any shape desired, so long as it can rotate within container 3. The edge of the outer wall 37 can be marked above each section to display the name of the scent carried therein. Top 11 may be hingedly connected to any of the sides. Further, it need not be the top that is opened. Any side con be opened so long as the cartridge can be removably mounted on axle 17. If the front or back were to open, the axle could be square or rectangular in cross-section and the hub would be shaped complementarily thereto and could be slid on and off the axle. The use of a faceted or non-circular axle and hub would prevent any slippage between the hub and the axle due to friction between the cartridge and the container. Rather than the sections being filled with an impregnated porous material, the sections could be filled with evaporating substances, as are common in air fresheners. This may require the use of wires or strings which pass through the substance to hold it in the section as it evaporates and becomes smaller. Alternatively, the front and back walls of the cartridge may be provided with mesh like material which would assist in holding the fragrance material inside each segment of the cartridge. These examples are merely illustrative, and are not meant to be restrictive in interpreting the present invention.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US2103609 *||Oct 15, 1936||Dec 28, 1937||Harry L Divine||Car odorizer|
|US2555047 *||Oct 22, 1948||May 29, 1951||Logue Floyd||Sachet holder|
|US2608436 *||Dec 16, 1948||Aug 26, 1952||Baughman John Leonard||Air-conditioning and vaporizing fan|
|US3410488 *||Dec 20, 1965||Nov 12, 1968||Sugimura Sadakichi||Automatic perfume atomizer|
|US3711023 *||Mar 26, 1971||Jan 16, 1973||D Smith||Device for controlling the evaporation of volatile substances particularly for use in air conditioning systems|
|US3908905 *||Dec 20, 1973||Sep 30, 1975||Globol Werk||Demountable multi-part container assembly|
|US4094639 *||Apr 15, 1977||Jun 13, 1978||The Raymond Lee Organization, Inc.||Deodorizer|
|US4603030 *||Sep 20, 1984||Jul 29, 1986||Mccarthy Robert E||Scent-Emitting Systems|
|US4865816 *||Dec 21, 1987||Sep 12, 1989||Seco Industries, Inc.||Disposable odor control product container|
|US4921636 *||Dec 3, 1986||May 1, 1990||Naarden International N.V.||Time duration indicator systems, and also products containing such indicator systems having a limited duration of use or life|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US5695692 *||Jan 18, 1996||Dec 9, 1997||David Kennedy (Engineers) Holdings Limited||Self-rotating air freshner cartridge and method of dispensing different air freshening vapors|
|US5972290 *||Apr 7, 1997||Oct 26, 1999||De Sousa; Mauricio||Process and equipment for the programmed scenting of environments|
|US6619559||Jul 10, 2001||Sep 16, 2003||Gregory D. Wohrle||Scent delivery system|
|US6739330||Aug 27, 2002||May 25, 2004||Stephen Ross||Foam cook top range stand construction system|
|US6802460||Mar 5, 2002||Oct 12, 2004||Microflow Engineering Sa||Method and system for ambient air scenting and disinfecting based on flexible, autonomous liquid atomizer cartridges and an intelligent networking thereof|
|US7011795||May 29, 2003||Mar 14, 2006||Jcs/Thg, Llc||Apparatus for dispersing scents into the environment|
|US7073731||Aug 27, 2004||Jul 11, 2006||Microflow Engineering Sa||Method and system for ambient air scenting and disinfecting based on flexible, autonomous liquid atomizer cartridges and an intelligent networking thereof|
|US7216426||Mar 22, 2006||May 15, 2007||Thomas & Betts International, Inc.||Method for forming a separable electrical connector|
|US7387265||May 9, 2003||Jun 17, 2008||Microwflow Engineering Sa||Method and system for ambient air scenting and disinfecting based on flexible, autonomous liquid atomizer cartridges and an intelligent networking thereof|
|US7389943||Jun 29, 2005||Jun 24, 2008||S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.||Electromechanical apparatus for dispensing volatile substances with single dispensing mechanism and cartridge for holding multiple receptacles|
|US7469844||May 18, 2005||Dec 30, 2008||S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.||Diffusion device and method of diffusing|
|US7524202||May 10, 2007||Apr 28, 2009||Thomas & Betts International, Inc.||Separable electrical connector assembly|
|US7610118||Nov 10, 2003||Oct 27, 2009||S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.||Dispensing of multiple volatile substances|
|US7622073||Jun 29, 2006||Nov 24, 2009||S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.||Apparatus for and method of dispensing active materials|
|US7942388||Jan 5, 2006||May 17, 2011||Conception Et Valorisation De Brevets (Cvb)||Multi-fragrance diffusion device|
|US8016269 *||Jul 1, 2008||Sep 13, 2011||Valeo Systems Thermiques S.A.S.||Volatile agent diffusion device equipped with a blower for an automobile vehicle|
|US8251299||Oct 29, 2010||Aug 28, 2012||American Covers, Inc.||Screw top air freshener|
|US8320751||Oct 22, 2008||Nov 27, 2012||S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.||Volatile material diffuser and method of preventing undesirable mixing of volatile materials|
|US8460609||Oct 29, 2010||Jun 11, 2013||American Covers, Inc.||Vent stick air freshener with grip head|
|US8485454||Dec 28, 2010||Jul 16, 2013||American Covers, Inc.||Rotatable and adjustable air freshener|
|US8632059||Oct 21, 2009||Jan 21, 2014||Ctr Consultoria Tecnica E Representacoes, Lda||Dispersing fragrances|
|US8662480||Oct 26, 2011||Mar 4, 2014||American Covers, Inc.||Fan powered air freshener automobile power outlet|
|US8673223||Oct 26, 2011||Mar 18, 2014||American Covers, Inc.||Fan powered air freshener automobile visor clip|
|US8685330||Jan 27, 2012||Apr 1, 2014||American Covers, Inc.||Air freshener flower with vent stick|
|US8851349||Jul 11, 2013||Oct 7, 2014||American Covers, Inc.||Frictional holding pad with inclinded grip|
|US8978998||Jan 13, 2012||Mar 17, 2015||Theresa A. Talley||Mountable fragrance dispenser|
|US9042712||Mar 13, 2013||May 26, 2015||American Covers, Inc.||Heated air freshener for 12V receptacle|
|US9138502||Sep 27, 2013||Sep 22, 2015||American Covers, Inc.||Air freshener with decorative insert|
|US9144621||Dec 20, 2012||Sep 29, 2015||American Covers, Inc.||Air freshener canister with pull top|
|US9155811||Nov 29, 2012||Oct 13, 2015||American Covers, Inc.||Packaged vent stick air freshener with custom head|
|US9192690 *||Mar 24, 2006||Nov 24, 2015||Zobele Holding Spa||Adjustable volatile substance diffuser device with a container with a membrane|
|US20030107139 *||Aug 12, 2002||Jun 12, 2003||Wohrle Gregory Drew||Scent delivery system|
|US20030186643 *||Oct 9, 2001||Oct 2, 2003||Vincent Feuillard||Heating and air conditioning device comprising fragrance-supplying means in a vehicle passenger compartment|
|US20030192959 *||May 9, 2003||Oct 16, 2003||Microflow Engineering Sa|
|US20040241053 *||May 29, 2003||Dec 2, 2004||Thompson Stanley O.||Apparatus for dispersing volatile materials into the environment|
|US20050077376 *||Aug 27, 2004||Apr 14, 2005||Microflow Engineering Sa|
|US20050147523 *||Feb 16, 2005||Jul 7, 2005||Christophe Laudamiel-Pellet||Articles, systems, and methods for dispensing volatile materials into the environment|
|US20050205916 *||May 18, 2005||Sep 22, 2005||Conway Simon M||Diffusion device and method of diffusing|
|US20060011739 *||Jun 29, 2005||Jan 19, 2006||Thomas Jaworski||Electromechanical apparatus for dispensing volatile substances with single dispensing mechanism and cartridge for holding multiple receptacles|
|US20060153744 *||Mar 8, 2006||Jul 13, 2006||Jcs/Thg, Llc||Apparatus for dispersing scents into the environment|
|US20060178026 *||Mar 22, 2006||Aug 10, 2006||Thomas & Betts International, Inc.||Separable electrical connector assembly|
|US20070012718 *||Jun 29, 2006||Jan 18, 2007||Schramm Heather R||Apparatus for and Method of Dispensing Active Materials|
|US20080093474 *||Jan 5, 2006||Apr 24, 2008||David Suissa||Multi-Fragrance Diffusion Device|
|US20090008470 *||Jul 1, 2008||Jan 8, 2009||Vincent Feuillard||Volatile Agent Diffusion Device Equipped With A Blower For An Automobile Vehicle|
|US20090162253 *||Oct 22, 2008||Jun 25, 2009||Jose Porchia||Volatile material diffuser and method of preventing undesirable mixing of volatile materials|
|US20090302128 *||Mar 24, 2006||Dec 10, 2009||Zobele Holding Spa||Adjustable volatile substance diffuser device with a container with a membrane|
|US20140110495 *||Oct 22, 2012||Apr 24, 2014||Jill Tyler Gundy||Volatile material dispensing system having an adjustable diffusion apparatus|
|USD639923||Apr 15, 2010||Jun 14, 2011||S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.||Dispensing device|
|USD640358||Oct 29, 2010||Jun 21, 2011||American Covers, Inc.||Screw top air freshener|
|USD640359||Oct 29, 2010||Jun 21, 2011||American Covers, Inc.||Vent stick air freshener with grip head|
|USD650892||Jun 20, 2011||Dec 20, 2011||American Covers, Inc.||Vent stick air freshener|
|USD660950||Oct 29, 2010||May 29, 2012||American Covers, Inc.||Air freshener diffuser with air tunnel|
|USD664246||Mar 9, 2012||Jul 24, 2012||American Covers, Inc.||Rotatable and adjustable air freshener|
|USD684675||Oct 23, 2012||Jun 18, 2013||American Covers, Inc.||Dual axis vent rod air freshener|
|USD689181||Oct 23, 2012||Sep 3, 2013||American Covers, Inc.||Air freshener container|
|USD711521||Apr 15, 2013||Aug 19, 2014||American Covers, Inc.||Skull on dog tag shaped air freshener|
|CN101137400B||Jan 5, 2006||Oct 10, 2012||专利设计与定价公司||Multi-fragrance diffusion device and method|
|DE102007009613A1||Feb 26, 2007||Aug 28, 2008||Behr Gmbh & Co. Kg||Luftkanal, insbesondere für ein Kraftfahrzeug|
|DE102007010796A1||Mar 2, 2007||Sep 18, 2008||Behr Gmbh & Co. Kg||Fragrant device arrangement, has air ionizer, and temperature sensor arranged in suction air channel or exhaust air channel, and connected with controller for automatic climate control mechanism of air conditioning system|
|DE102007030160A1||Jun 27, 2007||Jan 22, 2009||Behr Gmbh & Co. Kg||Fragrancing device for use in motor vehicle, has fragrance reservoir, in which odoriferous substance is contained, and rotor driven by passing air, where rotor is connected with locking device by transmission device|
|DE102007045160A1||Sep 20, 2007||Apr 2, 2009||Behr Gmbh & Co. Kg||Beduftungssystem, insbesondere für ein Kraftfahrzeug|
|DE102008011174A1||Feb 26, 2008||Sep 11, 2008||Behr Gmbh & Co. Kg||Automobile fragrance dispenser has a case for a cartridge with a display indicating type of contents|
|DE102008031156A1||Jul 3, 2008||Feb 5, 2009||Behr Gmbh & Co. Kg||Beduftungsvorrichtung, insbesondere für ein Kraftfahrzeug|
|DE102008033884A1||Jul 18, 2008||Feb 12, 2009||Behr Gmbh & Co. Kg||Inserting device for introducing an additive into a stream of fluid flowing in a channel, especially for a vehicle's ventilating system, has an area separate from the stream of fluid for holding/generating the additive|
|DE102009052267A1 *||Nov 6, 2009||May 12, 2011||Georg Ortner||Verfahren und Vorrichtung zur Erzeugung eines Duftluftstroms|
|EP0722743A2 *||Jan 18, 1996||Jul 24, 1996||David Kennedy (Engineers) Holdings Limited||Air freshener unit and cartridge therefor and method of dispensing air freshening vapour|
|EP0888781A2 *||Jul 1, 1998||Jan 7, 1999||Weber Druck + Kartonage AG||Holder for fragrance carriers|
|EP1561477A1 *||Feb 1, 2005||Aug 10, 2005||MISAL AREXONS S.p.A.||Vehicle passenger compartment air freshener dispenser|
|EP1961594A2||Feb 26, 2008||Aug 27, 2008||Behr GmbH & Co. KG||Air duct, especially for a vehicle|
|EP2039545A1||Sep 19, 2008||Mar 25, 2009||Behr GmbH & Co. KG||Fragrance system, in particular for a motor vehicle|
|WO2006072744A1||Jan 5, 2006||Jul 13, 2006||Conception Et Valorisation De||Multi-fragrance diffusion device|
|WO2009003704A2||Jul 3, 2008||Jan 8, 2009||Behr Gmbh & Co Kg||Air freshener device in particular for a motor vehicle|
|WO2014207273A1 *||Mar 31, 2014||Dec 31, 2014||Zobele España, S.A.||Device for diffusing volatile substances|
|U.S. Classification||239/57, 261/DIG.88, D23/366, 239/60|
|Cooperative Classification||Y10S261/88, A61L9/122, A61L9/125|
|European Classification||A61L9/12F, A61L9/12M|
|Sep 3, 1991||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: FLAVOR & FRAGRANCE DESIGNS, INC., MISSOURI
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNORS:PALAMAND, SHASHI;PALAMAND, S. RAO;REEL/FRAME:005822/0628
Effective date: 19910803
|Jan 27, 1993||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SUMMIT PRODUCTS, INC., MISSOURI
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:FLAVOR & FRAGRANCE DESIGNS, INC.;REEL/FRAME:006399/0516
Effective date: 19920331
|Feb 26, 1996||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Aug 8, 2000||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Jan 14, 2001||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Mar 20, 2001||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20010112